Parent's fear for children's safety after crossing patrol removed in Wigan township
Worried parents are calling for the crossing patrol to be re-instated on a busy main road close to various Wigan schools.
The patrol located at the junction of Warrington Road and Liverpool Road in Ashton has been left unstaffed at school times for over a week.
It is believed the absence of the lollipop man is due to staff sickness.
Councillor for Ashton, Danny Fletcher said: “It is a busy junction and it shouldn’t be left unattended at all.
"I’ve noticed a few lollipop men and women missing in Ashton recently, so whether they have been deployed somewhere else to cover sickness I don’t know.
"I contacted council officers but I haven’t had a response yet, however I’ve been informed the patrol located outside the King’s Arms will return on November 22.
However parents have been left outraged after being informed via text about the removal.
One parent said: “It’s ridiculous this has been allowed to happen; it’s putting children’s lives at risk.”
Another concerned parent, whose child attends St Oswalds RC Primary, said: “I got a text from school on Monday telling us about it.
"Another parent had already reported it because there had been no patrol for the past week.
"When I got the text, luckily I was off work so went to pick my son up and he was with his friend so I said walk with us and his dad was waiting and he told me he had been doing this all week because there was no lollipop man, I was horrified!
"They’ve not explained why there isn’t one, the rumour is that the officer who is normally there has been moved to RL Hughes as their usual lollipop lady is covering sickness.
“It’s not good enough, it is a busy road that links to the motorway and the East Lancs.
"The crossing is all used for high school kids too.
“He normally goes to school on his own but it’s frightening, I’ve had to teach him a different way to walk through the town centre.
"I was ok with him walking because the lollipop man stresses safety but now I’m worried sick.”
Julie Middlehurst, assistant director - infrastructure and regulatory services at Wigan Council, said: “This is a temporary measure while we support one of our valued crossing patrol staff members through illness.
“School crossing patrols are allocated on a priority grading system as determined by an independent body following a comprehensive survey.
“Unfortunately, in view of current circumstances, it has been necessary to temporarily relocate the staff member for this lower priority crossing to an area of higher need.
“While the responsibility for getting children safely to and from school will always remain with the parent or legal guardian, we’re working hard to support our member of staff to return to work and to restore this particular patrol as soon as possible.”
School crossing patrols are a non-statutory service provided by the Council.
The grades range from A to D, with A being the highest priority.
The SCP position at Liverpool Rd/Warrington Rd is a C-grade crossing. A council spokesperson said the staff member for this crossing has been temporarily moved to an A-grade crossing in Ashton.